Ericaceae — Heath family
Middle Run Valley Natural Area
Photo taken by Jim McClements in his
, though the plant was not cultivated.
Jim McClements' garden
Middle Run Valley Natural Area
White Clay Creek State Park -- Possum Hill
- This unique plant can be found throughout much of Missouri but is apparently absent from the west-central portion of the state. The plant grows in thick leaf litter (mulch) and is saprophytic. This is probably the easiest plant in Missouri to identify as nothing else resembles it. Another species,
, has the same growth pattern but is a yellow to gold plant which turns red when fruiting. This latter species is less common in Missouri.
is pure white when fresh and begins to turn black upon drying. The fruits of the plant become completely erect as opposed to the flowers which nod.
Traditionally the plant was used to treat warts, inflammation, and general pains. A root tea was used to treat convulsions and epilepsy. The plant contains glycosides and is probably toxic.
Three families are listed above because the taxonomy of this group seems to change daily.
Photographs taken in Alley Spring Park, MO., 10-2-03, and in Conecuh National Forest, AL., 10-24-04.
Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 387. 1753.
Indian-pipe, monotrope uniflore
solitary flowers, 5-30 cm; axis white.
nodding at anthesis, erect in fruit.
sepals (3-)5(-6), similar to subtending bracts, lanceolate to oblong, 7-10 × 4-6 mm; petals (3-)5(-6), white to pinkish or reddish, obovate, 10-20 × 5-15 mm, base slightly saccate, margins entire, apex rounded or, rarely, slightly lacerate, adaxial surfaces with scattered hairs; nectary lobes 10, elongate, curved-cylindric; stamens 8-14; filaments glabrous or sparsely hairy; anthers horizontal at anthesis, transversely ellipsoid to depressed-ovoid, abaxial pair of sacs smaller; ovary 6-12 × 5-9 mm, glabrous or sparsely hairy; style 2-7 × 2-5 mm, glabrous or sparsely hairy; stigma broadly funnelform, 2-6 mm diam., not subtended by ring of crowded hairs.
5-segmented; segments persistent after seed dispersal, stout, 7-11 × 5-12 mm, often connected along margins by fine, pinnate, vascular strands.
0.5-1 mm, mostly membranously winged.
= 32, 48.
Flowering early summer-fall. Moist to dry, coniferous and mixed-deciduous forests; 0-3000 m; St. Pierre and Miquelon; Alta., B.C., Man., N.B., Nfld. and Labr., N.W.T., N.S., Ont., P.E.I., Que., Sask.; Ala., Ark., Calif., Conn., Del., D.C., Fla., Ga., Idaho, Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., La., Maine, Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Nebr., N.H., N.J., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Oreg., Pa., R.I., S.C., Tenn., Tex., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis.; s Mexico; Central America; South America (Colombia); s, e Asia.
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